Interior of a Sunday
Sunday. After the meal together. In summer. The windows are closed so that the heat stays outside. The light falls softly into the living room. The tablecloth, starched. With some stains from the meal. With marks from the glasses. A broken thread lies on the table. Further to the left is newspaper, a book. In the centre is a packet of cigarettes. Free time to talk. In the presence of others. An interior of togetherness on a Sunday afternoon. At the table, four people and a gap where someone has stood up.
Handiwork. Sewing a seam up or a button on. A time when the few possessions were looked after. Done up. Improved. Using the things that are there. The table can be folded out. It is folded away and put centre ways to the sofa when no one’s eating at it.
A cigarette was stubbed out shortly before the photograph was taken. A time trace of the successive actions and gestures. Talking. Getting on with each other. Talking about everyday things and laughing together. Then, taking a photograph. A moment is created. The moment of togetherness is frozen. A lightness to it.
Who the photographer is, is unsure. A man or a woman. Look at me – a phrase that was said perhaps, a phrase that only turns the attention away from the table, and otherwise does not interfere. The short moment of the chair being pushed away, the impulse in a photograph to capture the togetherness, the faces that laugh in the direction of the photographer, none of it posed. It’s a brief turning away, a diversion of attention. From the table into the room. During an era when photography as a medium was not yet a private mirror.
The glance towards this anonymous photographer, the glimpse into this private world is a view of a time lost and, at the same time, a curious counter-glance takes place. The tranquillity of this Sunday scene, the cheerfulness of those looking into the camera seems to carry its smile into the present and to traverse time. The laughing expressions from another era reach into today. A strange intimacy can be felt.